Understanding IP Costs
Pricing a new product or service is a critical factor in its potential success. In order to decide on a price, a number of factors must be taken into account such as the cost of production, distribution, sales and the price the market is willing to pay.
Similarly, Intellectual Property protection costs have to be taken into account in the same way as other development or marketing costs
There are fees associated with the main Intellectual Property rights, particularly, Trade Marks, Patents and Industrial Designs. There is no registration system for rights like Copyright and Trade Secrets and therefore there will be no associated costs for protection.
To understand what to expect regarding IP costs, here is a simple breakdown.
To obtain protection
In the case of the three main rights, namely, Trade Marks, Patents and Industrial Designs, you will be expected to pay a filing fee which will provide you with a filing date and an IP number. Your application can then go through the administrative and examination process involved.
In the case of long term patents, a search fee will also be applicable.
The cost of preparation, filing and prosecuting an application for an IP right may also require the services of a patent or trade mark attorney. Drafting an application can be more or less complex depending on the type of right being applied for. In particular, drafting a patent specification is complex and the services of a patent attorney should be obtained both for making the application and subsequently interfacing with the Office regarding the examination process.
If successful, a registration fee will be due for both Design and Trade Mark applications. The equivalent fee for Patents is referred to as a grant fee. Upon receipt of these fees, you will be issued with an official certificate of registration/grant.
To keep protection in force
Trade Marks are valid for ten years and can be renewed on a ten year basis by paying a renewal fee.
Patents have a maximum lifespan of twenty years and if you wish to secure the full twenty years protection, it will be necessary to pay a yearly renewal fee from year three until year twenty.
The maximum term of protection for Industrial Designs is twenty- five years. If you wish to secure the full twenty-five years of protection, it will be necessary to pay a renewal fee every five years up to the maximum of twenty-five.
Be aware that you are not in a contract and can drop protection at any stage by simply ceasing payment of the renewal fees. Your protection will automatically expire.
Remember, IP rights are territorial and if you are seeking protection outside of Ireland, it will be necessary to pay further fees. Depending on where you need protection, the cost can increase significantly.
Decisions regarding where to seek protection and the costs involved should all be included as part of your initial business strategy.
A full list of fees can be found under Manage IP – Statutory Fees.
Information relating to the costs of protection abroad can be found at – Protection Abroad.
Information regarding costs in other European countries can be found on the Innovaccess IP Portal.